US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Burma, becoming the first senior US official in more than 50 years to visit the country.
During the landmark visit, Mrs Clinton is scheduled to hold a meeting lasting several hours with Burma's president Thein Sein. She is also due to fly to Rangoon for her first meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel-prize winning democracy movement leader she has described as "an inspiration".
Speaking to reporters before her arrival, Clinton said,
"I am obviously looking to determine ... what is the intention of the current government with respect to continuing reforms.
We and many other nations are quite hopeful that these flickers of progress ... will be ignited into a movement for change that will benefit the people of the country."
The Kachin Independence Organisation, one of the largest armed ethnic opposition groups in Burma, welcomed the Secretary of State’s visit commenting,
"US can make Burma change towards democracy. The conflict has become serious and the need to solve it is urgent."
Some minorities have expressed fears that the visit could be exploited as legitimising the government, which was slowly began implementing reforms.
Alan Saw U, a community organiser from the Karen ethnic group in Rangoon, said he hoped Clinton would "focus on democratisation. We don't want her visit to be ... abused by the ruling authorities."
The TNA leader R. Sampanthan said there was "no chance of reconciliation due to the actions of the Sri Lankan government", when speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who met with him in Trincomalee on Friday.
The United States has reiterated that Sri Lanka must implement recommendations from the LLRC, and credibly address all allegations of 'serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law'.
Major General Jagath Dias of the Sri Lankan Army has been refused a visa to Australia, media reports said. He had applied to participate in an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) project being held there this month.
Sri Lanka’s Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne complained that the ‘LTTE diaspora’ misled some of the country delegates in attendance at last month’s Commonwealth summit in the country.